Couple or Marital Counselling
Establish a comfortable sense of rapport with the individual, follow up to the initial over-the-phone brief consultation, this to provide a safe space for the couple to clarify, and share both the nature of the issue(s) that brought them to therapy, as well as their vision of what resolution of the issue(s) would look like for them.
Oftentimes, only one of the partners initially called to set up the counselling session. The therapist will summarize what they understand the presenting issue to be from this one individual, and seek clarification from the other partner, as to their experience of the priority challenge(s) being experienced in the relationship, including a description of what outcome hopes they are seeking.
The narrative of how and where the couple met, what drew them to each other, the strengths and weakness they each brought to the relationship, whether this is their first committed relationship, or a repeat/remarriage relationship, and whether there are children and their ages and names, from this or from a previous relationship.
In this review of the couple’s journey, they will be invited to identify when the issue that brought them to counselling first came to their attention, how they attempted as individuals, and/or as a couple to resolve this impasse, gaining clarity as to what happened in this process, who did what, and with what result.
At a deeper level, who we choose, and why we "fall in love with specific individuals," has been fully studied over the years. The therapist will check out with the individuals whether they understand this strong, inner intuitive process in their relational impasse, including what each partner can learn and do to enhance their joint marital life.
A treatment plan is then created with the couple, and which specifically identifies what each partner needs to learn/change/contribute in the transformation of their relational chaos into strengths, and relational/marital satisfaction: outcomes objectives are clearly stated in this treatment plan, and "bought into by each partner" forming the contract for change with the therapist.
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